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Old Rage: 'One of our best-loved actor's powerful riposte to a world driving her mad’ - DAILY MAIL

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I wish I wasn’t obsessionally work-oriented; that I didn’t feel guilty when I don’t work, or that my life is over. As Billie was in a ward of her own Sheila sat with Billie day and night singing to her and saying a childhood prayer to her, one that I truly loved, that was one my favourite parts in the book for loving the prayer. John was abandoned by his mother, and it dominated his life to a certain extent, certainly his relationships.

Old Rage by Sheila Hancock is a funny, poignant and feisty memoir of the actress, who is now approaching her nineties. Following the death of her husband, John Thaw, she wrote a memoir of their marriage, The Two of Us, which was a number one bestseller and won the British Book Award for Author of the Year.

Even among this starry crowd, her national treasure status is palpable; I’m surprised people aren’t elbowing me out of the way to get to her.

Funny, feisty, honest, she makes for brilliant company as she talks about her life and takes an uncompromising look at a world so different from the one of her wartime childhood. Today is particularly piercing on this score, the death of Denis Waterman, Thaw’s co-star in The Sweeney, having just been announced.

There are references to the aches and pains of aging, falls and other illnesses, but above all this is the journal of a woman fiercely engaged with life. I confess I’ve not read any of her three previous efforts but, after digesting this diarised account of her latter years, I can certainly handle a bigger dose of Sheila. Written during lockdown, “Old Rage” was born out of this extended time of isolation, giving Sheila time to reflect on her acting career, her family and her strongly-held beliefs; many of which might surprise or even offend some readers, but Sheila Hancock tells it like it is.

I enjoyed this, although I'm not a fan of celebrity autobiography, which is often very self indulgent. And then we join her through COVID; what it was like being told that you are extremely vulnerable and then being forced to live in isolation. Old Rage by Sheila Hancock was a funny and excellent book and still looking great at OMG 89 years old and still got her wits about her. Aged 83, Sheila climbed Suilven, a mountain in the Scottish highlands, portraying the character of Edie, a stubborn woman with a long-held desire to climb the mountain.so rapidly over the last few decade but Sheila’s “Old Rage” is a steadfastly honest piece of writing. Old Rage” is in no way a metaphorical title: this is a brutally honest and fiercely funny book by a lady who has pretty much seen it all, and may yet have some life left in her.

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